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Turkey issues warning about Russian navy exercise in eastern Mediterranean 

September 3, 2020 at 2:32 pm

Russian Navy ship passes through Istanbul, Turkey on 16 May 2020 [Emrah Yorulmaz/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey has issued two alerts on Navtex for the eastern Mediterranean where the Russian navy will conduct military drills, the Turkish Naval Forces Hydrography and Oceanography Department has revealed. Navtex is an “international automated medium frequency direct-printing service for delivery of… urgent maritime safety information (MSI) to ships.”

The announcement was made on Wednesday, with a warning that the Russian navy will conduct two separate arms exercises of the coast of Cyprus. One is expected to take place from 8-22 September, and the other from 17-25 September.

Ankara had already announced last week that its own naval exercises would take place earlier this week in a zone further east. In a message on Navtex in August, Turkey said that it would carry out the “shooting exercises” off the coast of the southern Turkish town of Anamur, to the north of Cyprus.

Meanwhile, German diplomatic efforts have helped to defuse tension between Turkey and Greece after Athens objected to Ankara’s seismic survey in an area south of the island of Kastellorizo. Greece’s controversial move to sign a maritime demarcation agreement with Egypt, which Turkey says violates its own international waters, has made matters worse.

The Turkish government accuses Athens of pursuing maximalist policies in the eastern Mediterranean and insists that Greece’s maritime claims constitute a violation of Turkey’s sovereign rights.

READ: Greece calls Turkey’s seismic survey in Mediterranean illegal